Now the few remaining indigenous languages are in danger of dying out in the coming years. The struggle to preserve them often rests with a few dedicated individuals striving to not only re-learn the language of their ancestors, but to also teach it to others.
Michael Jarrett, who teaches the Gumbaynggirr language spoken on the Queensland coast, says: "When I was growing up, the Aboriginal people were forbidden to speak their language. So I didn't get to hear fluent speakers talking together. But the land is starting to hear the native tongue again. The Gumbaynggirr language belongs in Gumbaynggirr territory. It hasn't heard the language for many, many years."